CYCLING IS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT FOR APRIL
Brisbane cyclist April Lea, the youngest competitor in Velothon Sunshine Coast (13-16 July) at age 23, is living proof that anything is possible and there are a million and one ways to get involved in cycling.
A self-confessed ‘non athlete’, April’s interest in cycling was not inspired by the Tour de France or a cycling obsessed friend, but rather by a bout of window shopping that introduced her to the very addictive world of shiny new bicycles.
“I didn’t do any sport at all as a kid. I was the complete opposite, April said. “I used to hang out on the computer in my room and was a complete nerd. So this whole sport aspect to my life is something that I have only just come into as an adult.”
“My inspiration for starting cycling was literally seeing my bike for the first time. I have a LIV ENVIE Pro 1 and when I saw it in the bike shop window that I was passing by I thought ‘I really like that”. So I went in and sussed it out and they happened to have the last 2016 model in my size and they gave it to me super cheap and the rest is history I guess.”
“It was the ultimate window shopping. Just walking past a bike shop and seeing something in the window you like and it has changed my life. It really has. I have never been fitter, and I have never been healthier. It was just one of those things.”
“I was lucky enough that after I bought the bike one of my friends, that I didn’t even know cycled, told me that she rode. She took me out for a few rides and that is how I fell in love with it. So it really is all about the banter,” she said.
April set about putting her new bike to good use and she joined the Brisbane Cycling Club to gain some experience and further immerse herself in this brand new world of two wheeled freedom.
“I have been cycling for nearly 12 months and I got an email from the race organisers saying that there was a three day Velothon coming to the Sunshine Coast. I love the Sunshine Coast for bike riding, so I thought ‘Okay, I guess I could enter and give it a bit of a crack’.
“I have been going up to the Sunshine Coast to do my basic training. Every weekend I try and get up to there and do about 130km on either the Saturday or the Sunday covering a bit of the territory that will be in the first day. But I haven’t done anything on the second or the third day as yet. During the week I am down here in Brissy doing a lot of wind trainer sessions.”
“I started doing some crits and bits and pieces like that about 2-3 months ago but I have never done a road race before so it should be pretty interesting to see how I go. I think they have mapped out the course well because on the second day you have nice roller coaster hills and if you manage to form a bit of a group it will be ride on day two which should prepare you for the last day which looks bloody awful. I have never been much of an endurance person so it is going to be ‘fun’,” she laughed
As the youngest competitor at Velothon, April was delighted to know she will be sharing the road with competitors from different backgrounds, experience and ages who love cycling as much as she does.
“Everything about cycling has taken my interest, being able to get out there in the fresh air with amazing scenery it is awesome. There is nothing better than chewing your handlebars going up a massive mountain and then get to the top and fly down the other side. It just gets my heart going like nothing else in this world does.
“It is fantastic to know there are people in their 70’s who are also going to be doing the ride. I hope to be riding well into my seventies that would be great, I’d love to,” she said.
Velothon Sunshine Coast is being held 13-16 July, to find out more visit velothonsunshinecoast.com